Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

06bCarbonaraPlatebfLOSpaghetti squash is cooked in the ‘wave, then teamed up with bacon, garlic, jalapeños, and poached chicken to make for a hearty, tasty carbonara with just a bit of a kick to it. Despite it not being one of his favorites, Rich didn’t even mind the lack of traditional pasta in this dish – but then, mebbe it was all that bacon and poached chicken.

BTW, get a double bang for your poultry buck and save the poaching liquid from the chicken for use as chicken stock.

Poached Chicken:
•2 or 3 chicken breasts
•Fresh parsley
•Sweet and/or red onion, chopped
•2 or 3 corn cobs
•Sea salt

•1 spaghetti squash

•2 cups diced sweet onion
•1 jalapeño, halved and sliced
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•2 eggs
03aSpagSquashbfLO•1/2 cup whole milk
•1 tbsp ranch dressing
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
•Chopped fresh parsley
•2 cups poached chicken breast, chopped
•4 oz  pimiento, drained

First, the chicken: add the veggies to a large pot and add water to cover. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, then bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the chicken, bring the pot back to a boil, then cook for three minutes.

03bSpagSquashbfLOPull the pot off the heat, cover, and let rest for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and allow to cool before cutting into chunks for the carbonara. Strain the veggies out of the poaching liquid, allow to cool, and stash in the fridge for up to three days to use as chicken stock.

Next, the squash: pierce the squash in several places with tip of sharp knife or fork; place in shallow microwaveable dish. Microwave on HIGH 10 to 15 min. or until squash is softened, turning every 5 minutes.

04bAddEggbfLOHeat your oven to 400º.

Cut squash lengthwise in half; remove and discard seeds. Scoop the squash strands into large bowl with a dinner fork.

Cook the bacon in a large pan until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain, then cut into chunks.

Discard all but about one tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan, then add the onion, jalapeño, and garlic and cook until the onion is tender, eight to ten minutes.

05aCarbonaraCasserolebfLOCut the chicken into chunks and add to the spaghetti squash along with the bacon, onion mixture, and pimientos.

Whisk the eggs together with the Sherry Peppers Sauce, Parmesan, salt, pepper, milk, ranch dressing, and parsley, then pour over the spaghetti squash in the bowl and toss to combine.

05bBakedbfLOTransfer the squash mixture to a casserole and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Nice dish! The pimiento, parsley, and jalapeño add a bit of color to what would otherwise be a symphony of beige; and the ranch dressing, Sherry Peppers Sauce and, again, the jalapeño add a bit of a zip! to it as well.

Serve with salad on the side, if you like, but let’s face it, you’ve got yourself a heaping helping of veggies right in front of you.

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